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Dahbadu

"non-career" skill bonus for humans during chargen question

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Hi Everyone,

 

I'm hoping someone can answer.

 

Can the human racial "non-career" skill bonus be applied before choosing your career specialization?

 

For example:

 

1. Choose human as your species.

2. Choose colonist as your carreer. Mark 8 career skills and choose 4 of those skills to gain free ranks in. You have now choosen a career, therefore qualifying certain skills as "non-career" skills.

3. For your human species "non-career" skill bonus, rank 2 different skills that are not part of the previous selection of 8 skills from your career choice. In this case, we'll gain a free rank in medicine and cool.

4. Choose your specialization. In this case, we'll choose doctor. Mark 4 skills (cool, medicine, resiliance, education) as career skills. Choose 2 of those skills to gain a free rank in. In this case, we'll again choose medicine and cool.

5. We now have effectively gained 2 free ranks in both medicine and cool.

 

Based off my reading, it doesn't say *when* to apply the racial skill bonus (which I think is a design oversight). So the above order of operation should fall within the RAW. Is this legal under RAW?

 

I know cases like this the usual answer is "it's up to the GM." But I'm hoping for something more concrete. Anything in the RAW that would make the above illegal? A developer ruling for RAI would also suffice.

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It doesn't specifically say when to apply them, but because they need to be non-career skills, you have to apply them after you have chosen your career and specializations. Otherwise all skills are non-career skills.

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From my reading there are three places where this could be applied - post Species selection, at which point all skills are non-career skills, between Career and Specialization selection, at which point you only have half the career skills that you're going to have, and before spending XP to enhance the character.  The first two occur during character establishment, so I would say that those don't work - in the first case, because you don't have any Career and Non-Career skills, in the second, because Career and Specialization selection are all part of a single step, which means that you can't pick a career, put the two points into two non-career skills, then pick a Specialization that gives you those skills anyways.

In short, no, I don't think you can do that, and I would call you on it if you tried to pull it in my game.

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I think the term non-career here implies a career has already been chosen.  If the intent was to let you pick any skill, it would say 1 rank in any skill.  Points for creativity, but I'm pretty sure you pick this after you pick your career and spec.

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I'd essentially let you choose them at any time during character creation, but would not allow you to make it invalid before you finished character creation. So they can't be made career skills by your choice of class, they can't be made career skills by your choice of specialization, and they can't be made career skills by you purchasing into any additional specializations in character creation. If something isn't a career skill, the check when you finish character creation should be just as true as when you started.

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I've been running as the "non-career" skills are chosen after the player has picked their Human PC's career and initial specialization, but before they start spending their XP budget.  This way they've got a clear notion of what is and is not a career skill for this character.

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I've been running as the "non-career" skills are chosen after the player has picked their Human PC's career and initial specialization, but before they start spending their XP budget.  This way they've got a clear notion of what is and is not a career skill for this character.

 

I would agree with this, with one caveat: If you buy a second spec, and then select THAT spec to gain your 2 out of 4 skills, then you must count those as in-career when choosing your human bonus skills.

 

The reason I think you should be more loosey goosey with it is because the player could just hold off on spending the XP and then spend it during play in exactly the same way (at least as far as skills and specs are concerned). The only thing that they can't do later is take that 2 of 4 skill package from their specialty. 

 

This isn't something my group would do, but I don't see any point in trying to take away something in character creation that the player could just do in play.

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I've been running as the "non-career" skills are chosen after the player has picked their Human PC's career and initial specialization, but before they start spending their XP budget.  This way they've got a clear notion of what is and is not a career skill for this character.

 

I would agree with this, with one caveat: If you buy a second spec, and then select THAT spec to gain your 2 out of 4 skills, then you must count those as in-career when choosing your human bonus skills.

 

The reason I think you should be more loosey goosey with it is because the player could just hold off on spending the XP and then spend it during play in exactly the same way (at least as far as skills and specs are concerned). The only thing that they can't do later is take that 2 of 4 skill package from their specialty. 

 

This isn't something my group would do, but I don't see any point in trying to take away something in character creation that the player could just do in play.

 

You select your 2 out of 4 spec skills before you spend XP, so you can't do that anyway - you have to spend those 2 ranks in your first specialisation.

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I've been running as the "non-career" skills are chosen after the player has picked their Human PC's career and initial specialization, but before they start spending their XP budget.  This way they've got a clear notion of what is and is not a career skill for this character.

 

I would agree with this, with one caveat: If you buy a second spec, and then select THAT spec to gain your 2 out of 4 skills, then you must count those as in-career when choosing your human bonus skills.

 

The reason I think you should be more loosey goosey with it is because the player could just hold off on spending the XP and then spend it during play in exactly the same way (at least as far as skills and specs are concerned). The only thing that they can't do later is take that 2 of 4 skill package from their specialty. 

 

This isn't something my group would do, but I don't see any point in trying to take away something in character creation that the player could just do in play.

 

You select your 2 out of 4 spec skills before you spend XP, so you can't do that anyway - you have to spend those 2 ranks in your first specialisation.

 

 

Hmmm, your post made me look it up, and it appears that we have two conflicting rules on the matter. Page 35 explicitly says that you can do it, while page 93 says you can't (not quite as explicitly as pg. 35, but clearly enough). 

 

Looks like it's time for an errata post.

 

EDIT: now that I am going over it, I'm reading that you can do this during character creation, and that the mention on page 93 refers to buying a spec in-play. It still should be clarified by the devs.

Edited by Doc, the Weasel

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I've been running as the "non-career" skills are chosen after the player has picked their Human PC's career and initial specialization, but before they start spending their XP budget.  This way they've got a clear notion of what is and is not a career skill for this character.

 

This is how I would do it.  However, this begs the question...what about specializations you buy into with XP?  Don't those skills now become career skills?  This would result in the same thing OP is suggesting, but at a later step.

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As far as RAW, I don't think there is an "official" sequencing of events, but I wouldn't allow it.  I've got 2 humans in the party right now and both of them are frankly very happy that they had the option for them.

 

I personally wouldn't allow what seems to be blantant "gaming" of the system.

 

This would also question when to apply bonuses from other species, like bothans and gand, trandoshians and Twileks, all of which "start the game" with one rank in [enter skill].  may not increase above 2.  If the humans can order it to not have to pay the 10 xp for their second rank, then none of the others should either.

 

I would say the steps would be thus:

 

1. Concept

2. Race: apply skill modifications as appropriate: meaning one rank in [skill].

3. Career and first specialization

    a. Spend human non-career skills

4. Spend XP

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As far as RAW, I don't think there is an "official" sequencing of events, but I wouldn't allow it.  I've got 2 humans in the party right now and both of them are frankly very happy that they had the option for them.

 

I personally wouldn't allow what seems to be blantant "gaming" of the system.

 

This would also question when to apply bonuses from other species, like bothans and gand, trandoshians and Twileks, all of which "start the game" with one rank in [enter skill].  may not increase above 2.  If the humans can order it to not have to pay the 10 xp for their second rank, then none of the others should either.

 

I would say the steps would be thus:

 

1. Concept

2. Race: apply skill modifications as appropriate: meaning one rank in [skill].

3. Career and first specialization

    a. Spend human non-career skills

4. Spend XP

 

I think you may have missed a possible Step 3b.  Smack the player asking with a rolled up character sheet and say "bad player, stop min-maxing".  ;)

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I've been running as the "non-career" skills are chosen after the player has picked their Human PC's career and initial specialization, but before they start spending their XP budget.  This way they've got a clear notion of what is and is not a career skill for this character.

 

I would agree with this, with one caveat: If you buy a second spec, and then select THAT spec to gain your 2 out of 4 skills, then you must count those as in-career when choosing your human bonus skills.

 

The reason I think you should be more loosey goosey with it is because the player could just hold off on spending the XP and then spend it during play in exactly the same way (at least as far as skills and specs are concerned). The only thing that they can't do later is take that 2 of 4 skill package from their specialty. 

 

This isn't something my group would do, but I don't see any point in trying to take away something in character creation that the player could just do in play.

 

You select your 2 out of 4 spec skills before you spend XP, so you can't do that anyway - you have to spend those 2 ranks in your first specialisation.

 

 

Hmmm, your post made me look it up, and it appears that we have two conflicting rules on the matter. Page 35 explicitly says that you can do it, while page 93 says you can't (not quite as explicitly as pg. 35, but clearly enough). 

 

Looks like it's time for an errata post.

 

EDIT: now that I am going over it, I'm reading that you can do this during character creation, and that the mention on page 93 refers to buying a spec in-play. It still should be clarified by the devs.

 

There is no conflict in the p35 and p93 quotes in the errata thread.

 

It boils down to this: You get one career class, and one specialization from within it, for free. you get the 4 career class skills (of 8 listed), and 2 (of the 4) specialization class skills as a separate free bonus. Later specializations, whether taken in CGen or after, don't get the free skill levels.

The racial bonus for humans is best understood to be at that point, before spending XP.

 

So, in sequence...

  1. Pick Race
  2. Pick Class/Career
  3. mark career skills from career/class
  4. Pick First Specialzation
  5. mark career skills from first specialization
  6. apply race skill bonuses (now that you know what is career and non-career). The droid bonus adjusting the next two steps.
  7. take career skill levels - 4 skills @ +1
  8. take specialization skills - 4 skills @ +1 but note that it's possible to run afoul of the starting skill limit at this point
  9. spend starting experience points - now you can buy that second specialization - but if you do, you don't get any more starting skill levels.

It was all perfectly clear to me.

 

Page 35 could be cleaned up just by changing the plural on specializations to a singular specialization.

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There is no conflict in the p35 and p93 quotes in the errata thread.

 

 

It boils down to this: You get one career class, and one specialization from within it, for free. you get the 4 career class skills (of 8 listed), and 2 (of the 4) specialization class skills as a separate free bonus. Later specializations, whether taken in CGen or after, don't get the free skill levels.

The racial bonus for humans is best understood to be at that point, before spending XP.

 

So, in sequence...

  1. Pick Race
  2. Pick Class/Career
  3. mark career skills from career/class
  4. Pick First Specialzation
  5. mark career skills from first specialization
  6. apply race skill bonuses (now that you know what is career and non-career). The droid bonus adjusting the next two steps.
  7. take career skill levels - 4 skills @ +1
  8. take specialization skills - 4 skills @ +1 but note that it's possible to run afoul of the starting skill limit at this point
  9. spend starting experience points - now you can buy that second specialization - but if you do, you don't get any more starting skill levels.

It was all perfectly clear to me.

 

Page 35 could be cleaned up just by changing the plural on specializations to a singular specialization.

 

 

That's the exact opposite of how it reads to me. The pg. 35 is crystal clear in that it specifically allows you to get your free skill ranks from specializations that are bought with starting XP. 

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That's the exact opposite of how it reads to me. The pg. 35 is crystal clear in that it specifically allows you to get your free skill ranks from specializations that are bought with starting XP. 

I'd overlooked that bit, mostly out of familiarity with the character creation process from the Beta.

 

Interesting.  In light of that, it would seem that the Human non-career bonus skills would need to be picked after the player has spent their starting XP budget and the final list of career and non-career skills are determined.

 

But that also opens a different can of worms in "at what point are your two skill ranks from a specialization chosen?"  Personally, I'm inclined to just disregard that bit of text and lock down those specialization bonus ranks to the first career-related spec that is chosen.  So for me, the order of operations would synch up with what Tenrousai posted.

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I'm going to come in on Donovan and Tenrousai's side here.

 

If it helps think of it in-game as I have this job and I'm good at these things for it (career and specialization ranks).  But I also like doing these two things outside my job as a hobby (human bonus).  Wow, I really enjoy doing that I think I'll pursue further education (picking up a specialization that happens to make one or both of those career skills). 

Edited by Rossbert

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Doc, just look at the sequence in the core book. Page 34. Spending Experience is AFTER select specializations. 

 

Since, in the step 5, select specializations, you can't have accessed a second specialization yet (because you haven't spent any of that starting Experience),  and taking the ranks is within "select specializations" - you can't have a second one yet, so the primary specialization is the only one to pick from. 

 

Now, it's possible a later race entry might allow a specialization for free... in which case, you'd have two... but you'd still have to pick only one for the skill bonus.

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Doc, just look at the sequence in the core book. Page 34. Spending Experience is AFTER select specializations. 

 

Since, in the step 5, select specializations, you can't have accessed a second specialization yet (because you haven't spent any of that starting Experience),  and taking the ranks is within "select specializations" - you can't have a second one yet, so the primary specialization is the only one to pick from. 

 

Now, it's possible a later race entry might allow a specialization for free... in which case, you'd have two... but you'd still have to pick only one for the skill bonus.

 

I'm not trying to argue what makes sense, but what is in the book. As I said earlier, we have conflicting information, and the order of operations on page 34 is just more contradictory rules.

 

In the end, you are probably right in how the developers will end up resolving it (it is certainly the cleaner way to go). Until then, each group is going to have to decide on which rule they will follow.

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